Women are not responsible for the crap things men do. End of.

17 Mar

This piece by Paula Matthewson totally nails it on the “Credlin, Horsewoman of the Apocalypse” narrative aggrieved men in LNP circles are telling themselves and everybody else to explain away their shameful, dishonourable gutlessness, and I include Prime Minister Tony Abbott in this sweeping gender generalisation.

If Credlin is indeed the only person Abbott trusts and takes advice from, that demonstrates an appalling weakness in the character of the leader of this country. Not because she is a woman, but because Abbott is apparently fool enough to listen to primarily one advisor.

If Abbott allows his chief of staff to tyrannise all comers, that is evidence of Abbott’s inability to handle responsibility and decision-making.  Nature abhors a vacuum and Abbott is a vacuum and fate has given him Credlin to fill the vacuum that he is. It is the vacuum running the country we need to be concerned with, not the filler who can be replaced by another filler, and another, but always leaving us with the vacuum at the top.


empty head


The weakness is not Credlin’s but Abbott’s, and it will still be Abbott’s weakness if Credlin is despatched.

Even more alarmingly, Credlin’s advice seems to be driving Abbott on a hiding to nowhere and still he takes it, which only goes to prove my point. The man is stupid beyond redemption.

It is customary in this patriarchal sewer in which we dwell, fighting off the bloody rats, to blame women for the crap pathetic things men do. I’ve had a gut full, to be honest, having experienced this on a very personal level for the last few months. Women are not responsible for the crap things men do, whether it’s in politics or the personal, women are not responsible for the crap things grown men do, end of.

I do not say this to offer support for Ms Credlin, because I don’t feel any. I cannot abide people who wag their finger at other people, and Ms Credlin seems to do this rather a lot. It’s a gesture that reveals a multitude of other characteristics, none of which I find in the least appealing. Be that as it may, whatever Ms Credlin’s undesirable traits may be, they have absolutely nothing to do with Tony Abbott’s. They just happen, at this moment in time, to be a spine-chilling fit.

This is why Abbott got it so wrong when he attempted to use charges of sexism against Credlin’s many critics, and where the critics got it wrong as well. The problem is the Prime Minister handing over so much of his power to his chief of staff, regardless of gender, and what it says about the PM that he is willing to relinquish so much power to an unelected employee.

Abbott is a dangerously inadequate leader.  It’s got nothing to do with Credlin. He was before her and he will be after her. This is what we should be worrying about, not the bloody horsewoman of the apocalypse, which is about as big a piece of hyperbole I’ve heard in many a day.

Let me say it one more time. Women are not responsible for the crap things men do. If this is a government of grown ups, they need to acknowledge that first, and urgently.


57 Responses to “Women are not responsible for the crap things men do. End of.”

  1. Hawkpeter March 17, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    Credlin is getting the same vial treatment that Gillard received.

    Apparently its not enough for detractors and critics to level blame, she has to be a witch or a bitch or this horsewoman of the apocolypse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 17, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

      It’s the myth of the powerful woman. We have to be terrifying as well


  2. samjandwich March 17, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

    I know almost nothing about Peta Credlin, perhaps because I can’t get TV reception at my house, and/or perhaps because the media simply can’t figure her out.

    But of the very little I’ve seen of her and Tony together, my intuition shouts “mum!”… maybe further implications for Abbott’s singularly unconvincing claim to adulthood, and for Peta Credlin’s prospects for emerging unscathed from her associations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson March 18, 2015 at 6:54 am #

      Funny, I thought that much more than I ever thought mistress.


      • helvityni March 18, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

        Abbott is not a man that many women like, he also seems to be drawn more towards men; so Peta is more a mum figure than a mistress…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. hudsongodfrey March 17, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    In any other context the idea that blame accrues to a gender bias might be repudiated. Although characterising women as responsible in any other sense of the word would be a gender biassed compliment.

    In the context of the Abbott government the assumption of “responsibility” is false and therefore IMHO the point may be moot.

    In fairness we might grant that anyone earning the dubious distinction of being dubbed “horsewoman of the apocalypse” by those on her own side of politics is probably headed for ignominy without Tony Abbott’s help.

    If however the point is merely that blokes who like to make “captain’s calls” are perfectly welcome to go down with their vessels, stricken beyond the point where shuffling of deckchairs intercedes on their behalf…… Go right ahead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter March 18, 2015 at 2:11 am #

      They (Abbottists) have no more a sense of responsibility, proportion or context than Nero or Caligula.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hudsongodfrey March 18, 2015 at 8:43 am #

        Though history does not record that Caligula blamed Nero’s wife, nor Nero Augustus’.


  4. doug quixote March 18, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    I understand from a friend who knows Higginson (who called Credlin “the horsewoman of the apocalypse”) that Higginson is an unsavoury character, and one who may have been asked to leave his exclusive golf club.

    Just the sort you would expect to find as Looters Party party-treasurer.

    (DQ’s eyes roll)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jo Tamar March 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh, but Jennifer, don’t you know that, when things go wrong, it is ALWAYS A WOMAN’S FAULT!


    Thanks for the post. It has been irking me, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      Not in my world anymore!


      • paul walter March 22, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

        You might say Peta is not to blame, but can you say she has been even the slightest help?

        How much more useful is she than Abbott..part of the same m/t hallucination, can we say…folk in the Castle Keep, locking out (in?) the plague and its victims.


  6. sexhysteria March 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    Off-topic: Australian politics aside, women are certainly to blame for the insane policies male politicians promote when it comes to so-called “pedophilia” and sex education in the schools. It is the parents, and usually mothers, who perpetuate the traditional mental castration of girls by opposing accurate, balanced and comprehensive sex education.

    The feminist origin of modern hysteria (no pun intended) over child sex abuse is well-documented in Nancy Whittier’s book “The Politics of Child Sex Abuse: Emotion, Social Movements, and the State.” Closer to home, see my critique of Germaine Greer’s failure to follow through on her attempt to prevent the creation of another generation of female eunuchs: https://sexhysteria.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/when-virgins-become-eunuchs/

    Witness the silence of certain female bloggers (whose names I won’t mention) when it comes to the continuing mental castration of millions of girls every day. I’m afraid that silence is primarily intended to avoid attacks by our sisters.


  7. paul walter March 19, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    It is a deliberate thing with authoritarian governments to short curcuit communication between themselves and those they they decide to see as their subjects.

    The message is, “Do as I say, not as I do”. It keeps the system moving, though no one knows where.

    The Abbott system looks like some thing cooked up in a think tank, to cover for Abbott’s almost completely absent communication skills. Abbott can’t/won’t explain stuff in the way Rudd or Gillard could, so is like the Wizard of OZ, who could communicate through flimsy fx techniques that fell apart under scrutiny.

    Lest we discover Abbott’s flaws, like the Emperor with No Clothes, he has a minder, indeed very likely a mother-figure, and door-bitch who deals where Abbott can’t, with attempts at intercession from the outside world. Credlin is a sort of Bormann to Abbott’s Hitler, as to the internal functioning of the parliamentary wing of Toryism, ready to take the flak, as he ministers are for his clayfooted bungling on often malicious policy, as he may take take credit if something he does accidentally actually does someone good.

    But for the string pullars it’s a good result: government stasis while an anti social agenda is implemented. My take is they are two different sides to a coin.

    But no way should Credlin be Abbott’s dupe, she has enough of her own sins to pay for, as do most of us.

    Credlin should not swing for Abbott’s mean spirited ineptitude, lest we complete our transformation to a Dalek level civilisation.


  8. paul walter March 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    Back so quick?

    The other component reqired for Authoritarianism to triumphs is through failure of those delegated to critally examine and oppose where necessary, policy examined on its merits. to oppose, to oppose.

    As well the henchpeople and autocrats there are the servile collaborationists , others complicit through failure to critique, oppose and resist where necessary.

    I say this straight from a newspaper reprt that the ALP has passed largely unamended, Abbott’s sinister Data Retention laws. while a few ghostly bars of the Horst Wessel Lied resonate through the aether.


  9. paul walter March 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    Sorry, some sort of typo..


  10. Michaela Tschudi March 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    After listening to Abbott in question time today, I reckon he is more than dangerously inadequate. I don’t have effing expletives to express how dangerous he is. Words fail.


    • paul walter March 19, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      Yes. He is an obvious example of how society reproduces itself through inculcated inadequacy, through its socio-cultural individuation processes.

      His unrelenting, hard wired inscribed inadequacy, by necessity intimately experienced by himself, is what creates and maintains such a dangerous Cyclops. The consciousness; the vision and reflexivity is suffocated within such a perpetually frustrated make up.
      However, it keeps the meat grinder for which we are all grist turning.

      It is a male equivalent to the processes sexhysteria is groping toward
      ( Nancy Chodorow and the “Reproduction of Mothering” is an example of some of the theorising), in seeking an understanding of what maintains the pointless status quo of social relations that are a handbrake to a historical evolution toward a more rational, fulfilling
      and enlightened civilisation.


      • sexhysteria March 20, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

        I don’t know what you mean by “groping toward,” but if you read my blog post I linked to, and my original post on clitoral erectile dysfunction that post links to, you’ll see that my position is quite detailed, specific, and well-documented.

        I haven’t read Nancy Chodorow, but apparently she was a psychoanalyst (a profession largely discredited today), who was not very concerned about widespread female sexual dysfunction and its probable physiological origin.


        • paul walter March 20, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

          Ok..miss the forest for the trees. Just let me turn away, lest your brilliance dazzle me.


          • sexhysteria March 21, 2015 at 3:52 am #

            Please don’t resort to bad poetry. That doesn’t substitute for careful study of the topic. The important thing to most women, as you seem to agree, is to avoid confronting clitoral erectile function, its probable cause, and how to prevent it from happening again and again to millions of growing girls. Sorry if I can’t identify with your motives,


            • Michaela Tschudi March 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

              Frank, are you here to discuss Jennifer’s blog or promote your own? Some honesty would be refreshing. Tks.


              • sexhysteria March 21, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

                I didn’t know that comments here are only supposed to discuss Jennifer’s blog. I’m here to discuss the continuing mental castration of millions of growing girls. Is your personal attack against me intended to draw attention away from that issue?


                • Michaela Tschudi March 21, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

                  No attack intended. I’ve read your blog, know a little of your work, so wondered why you interpolate a discussion on Australian politics. You did say your point was “off topic”.


                  • sexhysteria March 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

                    The title of Jennifer’s post is: Women aren’t resposible for the crappy things men do. End of. She didn’t say “some” of the things, so its fair to assume she means women are never responsible for any of the the crappy things men do. Although my original comment is off-topic, it was not wholly inappropriate of me to cite an exception.

                    In some Third World countries where little girls are still physically castrated – “female genital mutilation,” – it is the mothers and other women who organize and carry out the gruesome practice. I cited evidence that the more sophisticted Western practice of mental castration of little girls is likewise a feminine vice.

                    I’m not familiar with Australian poitics, but the tendency to blame men for everything – including female sexual dysfunction – seems to be universal in English-speaking countries. Curious that Western women prefer not to talk about that.


                • doug quixote March 21, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

                  An interesting issue I am sure, but this thread is about Abbott and Credlin, and her supposed responsibility for Abbott’s shit performance.

                  Don’t then accuse others of drawing attention away from an avowedly off topic issue.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • paul walter March 22, 2015 at 4:13 am #

                  Don’t be picky.
                  Micheala asked a fair question.. An issue of good faith, maybe?


                  • doug quixote March 22, 2015 at 10:06 am #

                    Michaela is ok by me.

                    The sexhysteria commenter on the other hand is rather single-minded. Which is fine, certain others we all know well are so minded; but they should not be surprised if others don’t share their obsession.

                    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michaela Tschudi March 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    Ha! PW, I got to Cyclops and then my mind wandered sorry. Must be hungry. 😊


    • paul walter March 20, 2015 at 12:23 am #

      Your not supposed to feel that till after I’m finished.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaela Tschudi March 20, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

        PW have you read Garner’s Monkey Grip, published around same time as Chodorow’s work?


  12. paul walter March 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    No…I know it is a celebrated novel and then movie, but that era, I was in my early twenties and living the (bad) dream myself.. The movie had a fair bit of publicity but I shied away from it: too much like looking in the mirror.

    I wasn’t ready to own up, because I had alcohol, self pity and denial to sustain me, till the wheels fell off, as they must do when you live that way.


    • Anonymous March 20, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      Ha! I was a little younger at 17 with all that ahead of me. I ask because you mention Chodorow, who postulated a theory on women’s autonomy. Jennifer says (and I agree) that women are not responsible for the crap men do. Garner’s book explores how a woman seeking autonomy gets caught up in the drug-fucked mess of one man’s world. It remains one of those books that I like to reread. I can give or take the film.


      • Michaela Tschudi March 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

        Oops forgot to sign in before posting that comment PW


        • paul walter March 20, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

          I will get the book.

          My years between fifteen and thirty were a disaster and I know my adventures and behaviours affected others, although I would not have had it thus.

          The older I get, the more I cringe at the thought of quite a bit of it.

          I tried to make changes in outlook and attitude as I got older after becoming horrified at what I’d become and as you see, have survived and even prospered in some ways, But I marvel even at the survival; at least some of my old friends, male and female, are pushing up daisies for less than what I did.

          Lucked out, I suppose. So far, that is..


          • paul walter March 20, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

            Although, I forgot the punishment may be old age.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Michaela Tschudi March 21, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

              Life is much better after 50 😊


              • paul walter March 21, 2015 at 5:57 pm #


                Liked by 1 person

              • paul walter March 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

                I’m sorry you had such an unhappy youth.


                • Michaela Tschudi March 22, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

                  So am I PW 😦


  13. helvityni March 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    I believe, I have read all Helen Garner’s books, the Monkey Grip, Children’s Bach, and all the others but her latest, which I’ll get after finishing Jhumpa Lahiri’s Namesake.Have enjoyed them all..wasn’t there also a movie , based on Monkey Grip..

    I can’t really think of any other female Australian author, whose books I like to read, I’m thinking feverishly….


    • Michaela Tschudi March 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

      Yes helvityni there was a movie with Noni Hazelhurst and Colin Friel. It wasn’t bad – I enjoyed the shots of Fitzroy Baths because I lived nearby for a while. I’ve read some of Garner’s non fiction too. As far as other Australian women novelists are concerned, I liked Kate Grenville’s The Secret River. Also I’ve enjoyed reading Andrea Goldsmith, Michelle de Kretser, Christina Stead, Delia Falconer…there’s not enough time for reading when working. 😊


      • helvityni March 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

        Yes, I too have read all Garner non-fiction books, most of them are non-fiction… And, Thanks for reminding, have read Christina Stead, Jill Kerr-Conway’s Road to Coorain was/is memorable, also Anne Deveson’s daughter’s books , ? Blain, and yes Falconer…I have read earlier Kate Granville and have The Secret River here, I buy too many books, it’s a bit of an obsession….there must be more of the female Oz writers, …I’ll try to remember some more.

        Liked by 1 person

        • doug quixote March 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

          But what lessons have you distilled from them? Tell us your wisdom.


          • paul walter March 22, 2015 at 4:11 am #

            Before the Great Forgetting sets in?


            • Michaela Tschudi March 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

              Tks PW, which brings us right back to where Jennifer started: Abbott and Credlin. How will history remember them? Or are they both eminently forgettable? Unfortunately, the damage the Abbott government has wrought on our economy and the fabric of our lives will have a lasting impact: the litany of broken promises, the mocking of our public institutions, the abject disregard for the rule of law, the human rights abuses, the contemptible treatment of vulnerable people, the disrespect towards Australia’s First Peoples, the disdain for women, the vicious attacks on people in public office (eg Triggs)…the list goes on. History might relegate Abbott to the slush pile, but people will not forget what he and his government have done. Abbott will leave an indelible stain on our history and our collective psyche.


              • paul walter March 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

                Yes, it is the baleful, pervasive animus.

                You ask yourself, “what is your problem?”, of them.

                Do you remember, when you were young, going to school or up to the shops and there would always be a particular sullen bully, some bete noir who mainly just wanted you to know, your life was over and they had your number forever … forever and you would live or wear death in life like a hairshirt with the nearest state to release being the permanent becoming.

                You look at to Tony Abbott and his odd assortment of fellow travellers with dread, there is no death, only exclusion, the drab realisation it’s as good as it is going to get…


                • Michaela Tschudi March 22, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

                  I’m an optimist PW. Always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Double dissolution or next election. Whichever it is, I’ll be there ready to cast my vote.


                  • paul walter March 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

                    Yep…while you still a few irons in the fire.


                    • paul walter March 23, 2015 at 2:08 am #

                      Did it again! the missing word is “have”.

                      Liked by 1 person

              • zerograv1 March 23, 2015 at 10:26 am #

                We have had woeful Prime ministers before, they are most often simply forgotten since they contribute nothing much worth remembering. The LNP has a few on that list. Back to the subject matter I think Abbott simply adopts the CEO model which the LNP love to impose on “How to run a government” and Credlin simply acts as an executive secretary restricting and managing the appointment book of the boss, hence the moans and groans from the back-benchers and even ministers. She has had the role prior to Abbott and is obviously favoured enough by LNP types to keep getting the job ….Blaming her might have some credibility if she has overstepped the mark and made some decisions above the gamut of that role, and hence shaped policy by simply allowing things that should have been brought to the attention of the PM let lie. If she’s done that then yes she must accept some responsibility…but given Abbotts form prior to becoming PM I doubt anyone would beleive its all her fault – he blunders so often and so easily even the most one-eyed supporter will eventually see that incomptence of such magnitude cant be so easily finger-pointed away ….interesting though that the LNP continues to blame Labor for things they cant or dont know how to fix…not exactly “responsible” is it? They are in Government after all

                Liked by 1 person

  14. doug quixote March 22, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    My take on Credlin is this, that she was largely responsible for Abbott becoming PM, by keeping him bound and gagged whilst Labor self-destructed over Rudd-Gillard-Rudd.

    She is certainly blameworthy there. 🙂

    And that Abbott is seen to be so crap now is merely that as PM he escapes off the leash far more often and can’t be stopped from revealing just how deficient he truly is.

    Credlin deserves backhanded praise for that; it’s just a pity that she was ever able to keep him under control.


    • paul walter March 23, 2015 at 2:29 am #

      That comment provoked me to a revisit of Wilson and Matthewson and I think it is a good balancing comment, the missing piece in the completed picture.

      Let’s recall, the original point Higginson was making was that there were financial irregularities to do with the PM’s department and without knowing what the truth or otherwise concerning this, it is difficult to avoid suspicion that Credlin is a more worldly operator than some beleive.

      Jennifer Wilson was correct in calling out Abbott’s weaknesses, but may have been optimistic in not examining Credlin’s own back ground, objectives and behaviours more closely.

      Credlin should not be a scapegoat, but I agree with Doug’s suspicion that she is not the innocent some seem to think she may be and that her covering up for Abbott represents knowing complicity rather than naivity.

      If I had my way, both would be sacked and I regard them and many others in the government as likely traitors to this nation, passing off government policies that knowingly attack the viability of a democracy.
      If Abbott’and his office are secretive and dictatorial, I won’t have it that Credlin isn’t an accomplice, after this length of time.

      Liked by 2 people

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